This is the Introductory Episode of the Canning Season Podcast with John Gavin.
Hi everybody.  My name is John Gavin and I want to welcome you to the very first episode of the Canning Season podcast, the show that’s all about celebrating and sharing the abundance.

Today in this first episode of the CS podcast, I want to tell you a little about me and my vision for what I hope to accomplish here with this podcast.

If you’ve not seen it yet, the Canning Season website has been up for over a year now.  You can find it at I set up the site, and now this podcast, to pass on information and, hopefully, create a sense of community for folks like us who enjoy making and sharing home canned goods.

I’m 51, obviously male, and am broadcasting from my home in the north woods part of the country, here in Minnesota, in a suburb of Minneapolis with my dog Philly who’s picture is on the CS website.

I hail from humble beginnings having grown up the 4th of 6 children in an inner city row house in Philadelphia.  I worked my butt off to pay for college and ended up being the first of us kids to get a degree.  I went on to get my masters and a professional degree.  As a result of my hard work, I’ve enjoyed a successful career of nearly 30 years in the investment industry.  When I wasn’t doing that I also served for twenty years as a volunteer firefighter and EMT.  I became a command officer, instructor, and did a lot to get the next generation ready.  I remain hugely proud of my days in the fire service.  Incidentally, I became known among my buddies for the peaches and other canned goodies I make each year.

In so many ways, on so many days, I consider myself a positive and most blessed person.  Friends and family know me for how often I say, “The hope and healing starts here!”

I canned my first item in the summer of 2006.  It was bread-and-butter pickles.  I still have the ladle that got stained orange by the turmeric!  Since then, I’ve learned a lot and experimented a lot.  I also ruined a lot of stuff through the mistakes I made.  You’ll get to hear all about that and so much more through this blog and the Canning Season podcast over at iTunes.

Why Home Canning is Awesome
As I got into home canning, six themes emerged that bring me back, with great joy, to each year’s new canning season.  They are:

Immersing oneself in a day of home canning feels good.  I have an intense day job. No matter how much traveling I do, or how busy I am, there’s nothing like putting up a batch of my homemade peaches, raspberry jam, or whatever, to help me forget about all that.  It always makes me feel good.  Tired, sure, but that sense of accomplishment when you have a counter full of jars cooling off is just awesome!

There is a spiritual element to home canning.  Perhaps because it’s so closely tied to the the harvest, home canning cannot help but put you in touch with the rhythms of nature and life.  In that respect, it puts you in touch with something bigger than yourself.  Between tweets, texts, and annoying pings of all kinds, I find it’s good for the soul to step back to look at the big picture every now and again.

You control the ingredients that go into your food. In a world where some of the food companies can seem more like chemical companies, it’s nice to keep your food simple, nutritious, and chemical-free.

There is a social element to home canning that comes from the sharing of the same.  This one initially surprised me.  Now it gives delight.  I was a volunteer firefighter for 20 years.  While on active duty I was well known for the peaches I canned each year.  Friends and family routinely ask about what I’m canning on the hope there will be more goodies for them.  Much as I love canning -and eventually eating (!) – great stuff, sometimes I think I take more joy in sharing it with others.  It certainly goes through my mind while making it, that’s for sure!

Home canning is part of a wonderful tradition that is great to keep and pass on.  Whenever I teach community ed classes on home canning, stories often arise from my students of Grandma or Mother (how about grandpa or dad!?!) who canned foods.  I had a wonderful day canning applesauce myself with three of my God-children last fall.  One of the girls is 14 now and eager to learn how to make pickles.  I can’t wait to teach her.

There’s a genuine sense of community to home canning.  While it’s true that I learned how to can on my own, I must confess to having help along the way.  Wilma at the Farmer’s Market gave me her great salsa recipe and her tips on how to “get it just right”.  She’s also my go-to person each year when it’s time to buy the peaches.  My wonderful neighbor Marge, who has been canning far longer than I ever will, made my efforts so much better through ever so gently offering her helpful pointers and tips through each of the canning seasons since I first started. Even my dear friend Howard, who helped free one of the concentration camps during WWII, talks wistfully of canning all kinds of goodies in his first years back home after the war.  We all loved hearing those stories.  Now Howard gives me tips instead and, of course, always enjoys eating what I make!
We have a lot ahead of us and I have a lot of great information to pass on.  I’ll tell you upfront, so many of the people I know who are into home canning and the food preservation lifestyle are so much better at it than I am.  But I give you my commitment to make this the best site on home canning and food preservation that I can.  In return I hope you’ll tell others and join in the conversation.  Will you help me?

Who is the Canning Season Blog and Podcast For?
Simply put:  The CS podcast and blog is for anyone who either already likes home canning and food preservation or has an interest in learning about it.   And you like and share many of the values I just outlined.

Show format:  What You Should Expect
Every 1-2 weeks, or more if I have ideas and content worth talking about.  I’ll say this now – the colder months will be interesting when it comes to all of this!
Not a subscription site – in fact, my goal is to give tons of free content, advice, ideas and be the host for the CS community.  In return, you can show your appreciation by simply clicking on the ads on my site if you need to buy things from my advertisers.
20-60 minutes per episode.  Tied to my dog walks.
Friendly & entertaining, for sure.  But you’ll get substance.  Sales pitches, talking points and spin from my guests won’t survive long here.
Show notes with every show along with the ability to react & comment.
Pinterest and other social media stuff as I get to it.
A forum is also in the works which will allow you to interact with the broader community – you know, that large group of people who know more than me about the home canning and food preservation lifestyle.
Interviews with experts and connection with resources and ideas worth considering in your own life.
Approach is 100% above board as follows – Basically, “If it would appear unethical to the average reasonable person, I won’t do it.”  Specifically,
G-rated content.  PG at worst.  I will do my best to keep this a website anyone in your family can feel safe visiting.
People cannot pay to have me do a segment on them.
Affiliate links plainly disclosed.
How Much Does it Cost to Join the Canning Season Site?
Upfront I’ll tell you Canning Season is a free site; that is, there is no fee for joining or participating here.  However, it’s not free for me to produce.  I have to pay for hosting, website support and things like that.  So here’s how I pay for it all and, honestly, also hope to make a little more too!

In return for my having put the time and money into designing and setting up the CS site I ask that you support the advertisers who’s links are posted on the CS website.  It’s that simple!  I mean, you need to buy many of their products or services anyway.

So instead of going directly to the website of the company’s who’s ads are posted at the CS site, I ask you to instead consider clicking on the links or ads I’ve posted to buy their products and services.  When you do, I earn a small commission and you earn my gratitude.

But here’s important things I need you to know about your helping me out this way:  1)  Unless you have some sort of special code or access I’m not aware of, you’ll end up paying the same price you’d pay anyway regardless of whether you click on my affiliate links versus you going directly to the vendor’s site.  Also, I want you to know that almost all of the affiliate links I post are for products and services that I’ve used or use so you can trust they are good – In other words, I’m not just posting a bunch of ads hoping to get as much money as I can from you.

Here’s How You Can Help as We Get Started
Go to to learn more and leave your feedback.  All social media links are there.  I welcome questions or suggestions for making the show better.  If you want, you can even call me at 763-260-4250 to leave a message with your feedback or even some questions you may have.  Maybe I’ll answer your question in a future episode.

It definitely helps when people give me iTunes love and follow me on twitter @canningseason.  Please consider going to iTunes right now to give me a good rating.  I’d really appreciate it!

So there you go.  You now know why I am doing the CS podcast and what I hope to accomplish here.  I’m glad you found me and I’m glad you’re here.  I love home canning so much that I really do want this to be a community, our community.  And with that I say, welcome.  I look forward to joining you as we get busy celebrating and sharing the abundance that surrounds us every day!

See you later!